Okay, back to the process. The second set of considerations when embarking on an employer brand development project involves internal alignment. At first you may think, why in the world do I need to have some complete stranger who won’t even display his real picture on his blog explain the importance of stakeholders to me? (I, on the other hand, have been wondering about our inability to account for dark matter and the impact that has on our understanding of the known universe, not to mention my neighbor’s penchant for ‘70s music. I have also been wondering about the benefits of charcoal grills vs. gas grills. Not sure which is more significant yet.)
It comes down to this. Too many project managers sacrifice long-term success for short-term expediency. (Is there another kind of expediency?) Global stakeholders need to be on board from the beginning, with the ability to advise on project objectives, scope, and direction, regardless of where the majority of the funding for the project is coming from. Providing input regarding their market and the particular challenges is one reason to include global colleagues, but downstream acceptance and adaptation of strategy is an even better reason. No one actively engages in a strategy that they don’t believe they had a part in building.
As for corporate stakeholders, it’s very similar, with one distinct exception. Leadership teams, internal communications, marketing, and public relations can be your most important advocates or your greatest critics. And just like your global counterparts, the most important thing is to get them involved in the beginning.
While all of this may seem like it’s adding a high level of complexity to your project even before it begins, it’s nothing compared to the alternative. And actually, nothing is exactly what may transpire if you don’t reach out right from the start – as in no funding, no adoption, and no universal acclaim for your foresight and hard work.